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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Sunday, March 5, 2023 12:44 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.2 - California & 4.2 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    
Issued for Week of Monday 3/6 thru Sun 3/12
Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Dateline Gale Forecast
Active MJO Continues - Consolidated Jetstream Forecast

 

BUOY ROUNDUP
Sunday, March 5, 2023 :

  • Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt) (Out of Service - using Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 2.6 ft @ 12.5 secs with swell 1.7 ft @ 11.9 secs from 205 degrees. Water temp NA degs (Barbers Pt), 75.2 (Pearl Harbor 233), 76.3 (Lani 239).
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Out of Service Buoy 202 (Hanalei) Out of Service
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.5 ft @ 14.7 secs with swell 1.3 ft @ 13.6 secs from 189 degrees. Wind southwest at 14-16 kts. Water temperature 54.7 degs, 55.4 (Topanga 103), 54.5 degs (Long Beach 215), 55.4 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 55.2 (Del Mar 153), 55.6 (Torrey Pines Outer 100). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.4 ft @ 11.2 secs from 305 degrees. At E. Santa Barbara (46053) swell was 2.3 ft @ 10.2 secs from 273 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.1 ft @ 13.6 secs from 238 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.3 ft @ 13.3 secs from 249 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 2.1 ft @ 13.5 secs from 270 degrees. Water temperate was 55.9 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay) Out of Service /029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 13.4 ft @ 13.3 secs with swell 8.1 ft @ 13.0 secs from 302 degrees. Wind west at 16-20 kts (46026). Water temp 48.7 (Bodega Bay 46013), 49.3 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 48.9 (San Francisco 46026), 49.1 (SF Bar 142), 50.4 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and NA (Monterey Bay 46042).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
Current Conditions
On Sunday (3/5) North and Central CA had sets several feet overhead and somewhat lined up but heavily warbled and chopped from northwest winds and not really rideable. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and lined up and mushed and warbled from northwest wind. At Santa Cruz surf was head high or so and sort of lined up but warbled and chopped from southwest winds. In Southern California/Ventura waves were up to waist high and lined up with decent form when they came with calm winds and glassy conditions but weak. Central Orange County had sets at waist high and clean with no wind and decent form but real soft. South Orange County's best summertime breaks were flat to thigh high and clean and soft. North San Diego had sets at thigh to maybe waist high and clean but soft. Hawaii's North Shore had sets at thigh to waist high at top spots and reasonably lined up and soft but clean coming from the northeast. The South Shore was thigh to maybe waist high and soft and clean early. The East Shore was getting east windswell at chest high and lightly chopped from modest east trades.

See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.

Meteorological Overview
On Sunday (3/5) Hawaii was getting local east windswell. California was getting raw northwesterly swell generated by a gale that developed in the far Northern Gulf on Wed-Thurs (3/2) with 26-28 ft seas aimed east followed by a secondary low that fell southeast Fri-Sat (3/4) with 20-24 ft seas aimed at California. And a gale continues to be forecast developing on the dateline falling southeast Mon-Wed (3/8) producing up to 35 ft sea aimed at Hawaii then tracking northeast Thurs-Fri (3/10) with seas fading from 27 ft aimed at the US West Coast. And beyond there's on and off hints of some sort of an Atmospheric River Event for California starting 3/14 as a strong Active Phase of the MJO pushes east. But this is far from guaranteed

See all the details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Jetstream
On Sunday (3/5) the jetstream was consolidated pushing off Japan running east on the 33N latitude line with winds to 170 kts splitting just east of the dateline at 170W with most energy ridging hard north in the northern branch of the jet tracking up through the Bering Sea then reversing direction and falling south over the fall east Gulf of Alaska off British Columbia forming a backdoor trough pushing inland over North CA with winds to 160 kts supporting weather production and local low pressure over the Pacific Northwest. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to slowly push inland and finally inland late on Wed (3/8). Back to the west the split point in the jet is to start aggressively pushing east reaching a point well off Southern CA on Wed (3/8) at 145W forming a trough being fed by 140 kts winds and with that trough tracking east following just west of the split point and supporting gale development. Beyond 72 hours the split point is to stall for a few days then start pushing east again by Fri (3/10) poised to impact Central CA then finally a pocket of energy pushing onshore on Sun (3/12) with winds 120 kts but with most energy still locked over the dateline with winds there at 150 kts. It appears the peak of the jetstream energy is following the peak of the MJO and it's associated westerly wind anomalies slowly tracking east across the Pacific. Assuming that is correct, get ready for a possible warm and wet pattern to take aim on California.


Surface Analysis
On Sunday (3/5) locally generated raw northwest swell was hitting exposed breaks in California associated with a gale that developed in the Northern Gulf mixed with swell generated from a gale falling south down the US West Coast (see Gulf Gale below). In Hawaii more but limited east windswell was still present.

Over the next 72 hours a gale is to be developing on the dateline tracking towards the Hawaiian Islands (see Hawaiian Gale below).

 

Gulf Gale
A gale developed over the extreme Northern Gulf on Wed AM (3/1) producing 35-40 kts west winds and seas building from 24 ft at 49N 156W aimed east. In the evening west winds were 40-45 kts in the far Northeastern Gulf with seas 28 ft at 54.75N 142.5W aimed east and mostly east of even the NCal swell window (328 degs). On Thurs AM (3/2) west winds continued at 35-40 kts producing 26 ft seas at 54N 148W aimed east and still mostly shadowed. Fetch and seas faded from there but all this served to rough up the oceans surface in preparation for another fetch moving over the same area.

On Fri AM (3/3) a secondary low was developing further south in the Northeastern Gulf with 30-35 kt northwest winds and seas building from 20 ft at 51N 156W aimed southeast. In the evening northwesterly fetch fell southeast at 30-40 kts with seas building from 20 ft over a broadish area at 46N 142W aimed southeast. On Sat AM (4/4) 30-35 kts northwest winds were off of Oregon with seas 23 ft at 46N 141W aimed southeast. In the evening 30 kt northwest winds were just off North CA with seas 23 ft at 40N 133W aimed southeast. Fetch was fading from 25 kts off North CA Sun AM (3/5) with seas fading from 18-19 ft impacting North and Central CA. Likely more junky swell and weather to result for CA.

North CA: Swell builds early on Sun (3/5) to 9.9 ft @ 12-13 secs (11 ft). Swell fading Mon (3/6) from 7.2 ft @ 13-14 secs (9.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (3/7) fading from 5 ft @ 12 secs (6.0 ft). Swell Direction: 305 falling to 295 degrees

 

Hawaiian Gale
Starting Sun PM (3/5) a small gale is forecast starting to develop just west of the dateline with 45 kt north winds and seas building from 23 ft at 36N 171E aimed southeast. On Mon AM (3/6) northwest winds to be 45 kts on the dateline with seas 27 ft at 34N 177.25E aimed southeast. In the evening northwest winds to be 45-50 kts aimed well at Hawaii with 32 ft seas building at 36.25N 176.5W aimed southeast at Hawaii. On Tues AM (3/7) northwest winds to position and strength at 45-50 kts with seas 34 ft at 35.25N 176W aimed southeast targeting Hawaii well. In the evening fetch is to fall southeast and fade from 40 kts over a solid sized area with seas 32 ft at 30.75N 172.75W aimed southeast. On Wed AM (3/8) fetch is to reconsolidated at 35 kts from the northwest within 450 nmiles of Hawaii with seas 31 ft at 28N 167.25W. Fetch holds in the evening at 30-35 kts from the northwest while sweeping just north of the Islands with seas 29 ft at 26N 161.75W aimed southeast and impacting Hawaii. On Thurs AM (3/9) fetch is to ease east at 30 kts from the northwest just north of Hawaii with seas 25 ft at 27.5N 155.25W aimed southeast. In the evening west fetch is to be lifting northeast well off the US West Coast at 30 kts with seas 24 ft at 31.25N 151W aimed east. On Fri AM (3/10) west winds to fade from25-30 kts with seas fading from 21 ft at 33N 147.5W aimed east targeting the US West Coast. Something to monitor.

Oahu: For planning purposes expect swell arrival late on Wed (3/8) building to 10.8 ft @ 16 secs (17.0 ft) at sunset. Swell continues solid early on Thurs (3/9) but fading from 12.7 ft @ 15 secs (19.0 ft). Residuals on Fri (3/10) fading from 8.6 ft @ 13 secs (11 ft). Swell Direction: 310 degrees

 

North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.

California Nearshore Forecast

  • Mon AM (3/6) low pressure is to still be circulating just off Oregon with west winds 10+ kts for North CA and south to southwest 5-10 kts for Central CA early. In the afternoon southwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for North CA and west-northwest 10 kts for Central CA. Light scattered showers for North, Central and Southern CA early and holding through the day for North CA but trying to clear over Central CA and clear over Southern CA. Snow showers for mainly the Tahoe area early then clearing mid-day only to redevelop in the evening.
  • Tues AM (3/7) remnant low pressure is to continue just off Oregon with northwest winds 10-15 kts for all of North and Central CA. In the afternoon west winds to be 10 kts for Cape Mendocino and northwest 10 kts down to Big Sur and 15 kts south of there. Rain for North Ca and Central CA down to Monterey early then clearing for Central CA in the afternoon but holding steadily for all of North CA. Scattered snow showers mainly for Tahoe northward through the day developing stronger in the evening.
  • Wed AM (3/8) northwest winds to be 10+ kts for North CA on down to Big Sur but 15-20 kts south of there to Pt Conception. No change in the afternoon. Light rain for North CA down to Monterey Bay early clearing later afternoon. Some snow for Lake Tahoe early building over the Sierra in the afternoon fading overnight.
  • Thurs AM (3/9) west winds are forecast at 10-15 kts for Cape Mendocino with much low pressure offshore and northwest winds 10 kts from Pt Arena down to Big Sur and northwest winds 15-20 kts south of there. In the afternoon southwest winds are forecast at 10 kts for all of North CA and northwest 10 kts from the Golden Gate southward but 15 kts from Big Sur southward. Rain developing for Cape Mendocino early building south over all of North CA in the afternoon but not making it further south. Snow developing for Tahoe in the late afternoon into the evening.
  • Fri AM (3/10) light east winds are forecast for North CA at 5 kts and continuing into Central CA but northwest 15 kts from Morro Bay to Pt Conception. In the afternoon south winds build from 10 kts for all of North and Central CA. Light rain for North CA early and fading quickly. Light snow for Tahoe early then clearing.
  • Sat AM (3/11) south winds continue at 15-20 kts for North CA and west 5-10 kts for Central CA. In the afternoon south winds continue at 15 kts for all of North CA and southeast winds 5 kts for Central CA. Rain impacting all of CA south of Cape Mendocino well before sunrise clearing late afternoon for North CA but holding for Central and South CA before clearing in the evening. Heavy snow for the Sierra through the day.
  • Sun AM (3/12) south winds continue at 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for Cape Mendocino. Northwest winds are forecast at 5-10 kts for Central CA.

Total snow accumulation for the next 10 days respectively for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth are projected at 48, 60, 47, and 18 inches with steady accumulation through 3/11, taking a break then beginning again on 3/14.

Freezing level for Lake Tahoe is up to 3,500 ft during the peak of the day today through 3/10 then the warm-up begins with freezing level rising to 7,000 ft 3/11 and up to 8,200 ft on 3/13 before falling to 6,500 ft on 3/14.

- - -

Tioga Pass/Pacific Crest Trail intersection forecast: Temps - Freeze Level
More locations here (scroll down to 'Resort Snow Forecasts>Central CA or North CA Caltrans & Backcountry')

Snow Models: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_snow.html (Scroll down for Resort specific forecasts).

 

South Pacific

Overview
Surface Analysis
No swell producing fetch has occurred with no swell in the water or radiating towards the coast.

Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

 

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.

 

MJO/ENSO Forecast

 

El Nino Developing
Kelvin Wave #2 in Flight - Active MJO #3 Strong - Continuous West Anomalies Forecast
1 Kelvin Wave traversed the Pacific in Dec '22 with another building now. And Westerly Winds are in control and forecast getting fully established filling the KWGA and the Pacific over the next month. And Sea Surface Temperature are warming and near neutral. The last link in the chain is to see the SOI falling. The outlook is turning steadily optimistic.

MJO/ENSO Discussion
The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.And the El Nino/La Nino cycle (collectively know as ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation) is a less frequent (about once every 7 years) but more impactful cycle that affects world wide weather. Specifically, strong El Nino events promote storm production in the Pacific while La Nina events suppress storm production. These therefore have a significant impact on the production of swell and surf. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO and ENSO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for upcoming activity (or inactivity depending on the state and interaction of these two oscillations).

Overview: In 2019 warm equatorial waters were fading, and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. A bit of a recovery tried to occur during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water held in a pool off Peru. By April 2020 a cool pool was starting to build, forming a well defined cool tongue that evolved into La Nina, with it fully developing through July 2020. A slow dissolving of La Nina started in March 2021 with 2 Kelvin Waves sweeping east and arriving over the Galapagos in June. Weak warming set up over the equator with no cool waters present. NOAA declared La Nina dead. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed through the Winter of 2022 and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.

LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2022 = 4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen and a full double dip pattern took hold through the Winter of 21/22. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December 2022 with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter 2022. But by later in Jan or early Feb 2023 a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct 22-Jan 23, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by Feb 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. The net result is we're currently thinking a near normal number of swells with normal size and duration is to result, but all focused sometime after Jan 2023. The swell pattern will be below normal before Jan and above normal after Jan 23 with the average of the two being 'normal'. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early date.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (3/4) 5 day average winds were moderate from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and moderate east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and modest easterly over the Central Pacific and modest easterly over the KWGA. (Note: These are 5 day average winds, versus realtime, so they lag what is happening today (by about 2.5 days).
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (3/5) Modest west anomalies filled the KWGA today. The 7 day forecast has weak to modest west anomalies holding over the KWGA through the end of the model run on 3/12 with strong west anomalies forecast south of California 3/8 through the end of the model run. Haven't seen this in years. Its about time.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/4) A moderate to strong Active MJO signal was indicated over the KWGA today. The statistical model indicates the Active MJO signal holding while slowly easing east to the dateline with a strong Inactive Phase developing over the Maritime Continent and holding through day 15 (the end) of the model run. The dynamic model indicates the same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (CA and GEFS): (3/5) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was moderate over the West Pacific and is to move east over the Atlantic 15 days out and moderate. The dynamic model indicates the Active Phase building to strong strength over the East Pacific on day 3 of the model run moving to the Atlantic before collapsing over the East Atlantic 15 days out. Impressive. This is hopefully the start of something better.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/5) A moderate Active signal (wet air) was filling the equatorial Pacific today. The forecast has the Active signal (wet air) tracking steadily east and then out of the KWGA on 3/10 pushing into Ecuador on 3/25. A moderate Inactive signal (dry air) is forecast moving over the KWGA on 3/15 filling the equatorial Pacific on 3/30 then to Ecuador at the end of the model run on 4/14 with a weak Active Phase of the MJO (wet air) moving over the KWGA at the end of the model run.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/4)
A solid Active Phase of the MJO was in control of the dateline today with moderate plus west anomalies filling the KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is to continue traversing the KWGA through 3/16 with solid west anomalies filling the KWGA. And even after that it is to track intact south of California 3/10-3/18 with solid to strong west anomalies in control before tracking into Ecuador on 3/18- 3/29. This is to be an impressive Active Phase. After that a weak Inactive MJO signal is forecast trying to push into the KWGA 3/18-3/28 but dissolving before making it to even 150E with weak east anomalies filling the KWGA 3/18 through the end of the model run on 4/1. La Nina is dead.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind):
(3/5) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today the Active Phase of the MJO was filling the KWGA with west anomalies strong on the dateline and in control of the entire KWGA. The Active Phase of the MJO is to track east over the entirety of the KWGA through 3/22 with west anomalies filling the KWGA. West anomalies and the Active Phase are to push east and south of California starting today through 3/29 with west anomalies filling the equatorial Pacific. After that the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to move over the KWGA starting 3/7, building some on 3/15 holding through 5/14 but with weak west anomalies to continue filling the KWGA and holding for the foreseeable future except one small pocket of east anomalies on the dateline 3/21-3/30. But west anomalies to rebuild at moderate strength filling the KWGA 4/8 through the end of the model run on 6/2. The shift to El Nino started on 2/15. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines centered at 170W with its western perimeter at 165E today and moving east fast. The high pressure bias started moving east on 2/15. The second contour is forecast collapsing/pushing east of the KWGA on 3/6 with the primary contour moving east of the KWGA by 3/24. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 120E with it's leading edge creeping east to 148E today (it started pushing east on 2/15). A hard push east is forecast starting 3/12 and on the dateline 4/14 and filling the most of the Pacific at the end of the model run. This is all a big deal and is being repeated in some form consistently from one run of the model to the next since Oct 2022. It appears that the high pressure lockdown of the KWGA is over with no return in sight. Finally!

CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/5) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was present at 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line had retrograded to 170E but was moving east to 176E. The 26 degree isotherm has now pushed the whole way across the Pacific and building in the east to 27 degs. This is a big deal and the first time this has happened in years. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing east into Ecuador and building in thickness. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies at +4 deg C were in a broad pocket with the leading edge at 162W and recharging connected solidly to warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave #1 off Ecuador. No negative anomalies of interest were present. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 2/27 indicates a huge very warm ball of 5+ degs anomalies stretching from the far West Pacific and reaching east upwards to 116W - Kelvin Wave #2 in flight. Remnants of a previous Kelvin Wave were lingering in a pocket lifting upwards towards the surface in the far East equatorial Pacific. A cool pocket was centered at 83W down 15m (the upwelling phase of the Kelvin Wave #1 cycle) and was lifting towards the surface while weakening and discharging. The cool upwelling event that has been in play since July has been undercut and is all but gone. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (2/27) Sea heights were very positive from 160W and points west of there over the West Pacific and +0-5 cms over the remainder of the Equatorial Pacific reaching east to Ecuador with pockets of +5 cms anomalies at 130W and 100W. This means no cool water was at depth. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies have retreated to the far East Equatorial Pacific between 95W and Ecuador. Warm waters continue building in intensity and coverage in the West at the same time reaching east to 113W. Kelvin Wave #2 is pushing east and the core of the warm pool at 140E is holding at +2.25 degs.

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4 Qualitative Analysis: (3/4) The latest images depict building warm waters extending well west along the equator from Ecuador to 140W (results of Kelvin Wave #1). And warmer than normal temps were present along the coasts of Chile and Peru and over the entirety of the deep South Pacific. A broad generic pool of barely cool water was collapsing extending west from 115W well off Peru to the dateline mainly south of the equator in the East and reaching south to 15S near Tahiti (but retreating north) then centered on the equator in the west and losing coverage and intensity daily over its entire region. The cool pool is in a state of rapid collapse.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/4): A broad and building pool of warming water was locked well off the coasts of Peru and Chile and stronger from Ecuador west over the equatorial Pacific to the dateline. A warming trend is well entrenched over the East Pacific since Nov 1 with no cooling waters over the equatorial East Pacific since 12/15.
Hi-res Overview: (3/4) Warming waters are filling the East Pacific off Chile, Peru and Ecuador. Cool waters were on the equator from about 140W to 160E and shrinking in coverage and intensity daily. The east equatorial Pacific is finally and steadily warming. La Nina remains in control over the West Equatorial Pacific for the moment but the density and intensity of the cooling is steadily fading while warming water is building around it's edges and migrating in from the East.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/5) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were steady at +0.497 degs today but were up to +1.076 on 2/19 and otherwise were steady at +0.848 since 2/7. Longterm they have been steadily rising since 11/13 when they were around -1.5 degs C.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(3/5) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Temps were rising to -0.401 today and had previously risen to -0.402 on 2/23. Temps rose above the La Nina threshold (-0.5 degs) on 2/22 and had been rising slowly since 2/12 when they were about -1.0 degs C. Then had been in the -1.0 deg range since at least Nov 2022.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Data
Previous - Temps rose in early Nov 2020 after bottoming out at -1.25 degs, up to -0.01 degs in mid-June 2021 then fading to -1.05 degs in mid-Nov then rebuilding to -0.7 in mid Feb 2022 then fading to -1.1 degs in May before starting an upward climb peaking in mid-June at -0.65 degs and mid July at -0.55 degs. A steady decline set in after that falling to -1.00 degs in Aug and Sept rising to -0.8 degs mid Oct then falling to -1.0 in Nov but then slowly rising to -0.75 degs in Jan 2023 and up to -0.5 degs above the La Nina threshold on 2/12. .
Forecast (3/5) - Temps are to move to neutral (0.0 degs) late March and up to +0.70 degs in July and +1.20 degs in Oct and solidly into El Nino territory. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps are to hit neutral (0.0 degs) late March and rising to +0.60 degs in July and +1.00 degs in Oct. According to this version of the model we are building into ENSO neutral in Spring and into El Nino in Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The Feb 19, 2023 Plume depicts temps are -0.228 degs today and above the La nina threshold. Temps to rise steadily from here forward to -0.018 degs in March rising to +0.758 in July and +0.759 in Sept. This is consistent with the previous run. This model suggests a transition to ENSO neutral if not weak El Nino. This model is in line with the CFS model.
See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad - all but the Daily Index was a lagging indicator):
Today (3/5) the Daily Index was falling at -4.55 after falling to -17.44 on 2/22 reaching +21.85 on 2/10 and +55.74 on 12/22 and were in the +20 range the previous 22 days.
The 30 day average was falling at +9.114 (lagging indicator driven by the Inactive Phase of the MJO) after falling to +4.18 on 11/27 and peaking at +21.57 (10/16) after supposedly peaking at +19.66 on 9/28. It was down to +6.89 on 7/29. It peaked at +20.34 (5/12) the highest in a year and beating last years high of +19.51 (1/14).
The 90 day average was falling at +12.91 after peaking at +14.63 on 2/20, +15.61 on 10/25 and +12.92 on 8/11 and that after peaking at +18.40 (7/2) beating it's previous peak of +16.86 (5/31), the highest in a year. It previously peaked at +9.80 (9/21) after falling to it's lowest point in a year at +1.06 (6/9). The 90 day average peaked at +15.75 (2/23/21 - clearly indicative of La Nina then). This index is a lagging indicator but suggests that the Active Phase occurring now is starting to drive the index down, hopefully with no upward trend in sight for at least a year.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The PDO theoretically turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and was positive till Dec 2019, but has been negative ever since, driven by recent La Nina conditions. In May-July 2021 it was the most negative its been in the -1.80 to -2.04 range since Sept 2012 (-2.99) and then fell to -3.16 in Oct 2021 (the lowest since July 1933) then settled at -2.72 in Nov and Dec 2021. Looking at the long term record, it seems likely we are still in the Cool Phase of the PDO (La Nina 'like') with no signs of moving to the positive/warm phase (El Nino 'like').

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


Powerlines Jeff Clark Inside Mavericks

Local Interest
Stormsurf Video Surf Forecast for this week. See it Here
For automatic notification of forecast updates, subscribe to the Stormsurf001 YouTube channel - just click the 'Subscribe' button below the video.

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NBC News - Climate Change and Surfing: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/climate-change-good-surfing-other-sports-not-so-much-ncna1017131

Mavericks & Stormsurf on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQSYf5sKjQ

Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/how-to-predict-the-best-surfing-waves-EsNiR~0xR5yXGOlOq2MqfA.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/surfs-up-for-mavericks-invitational-in-calif/

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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